The Gospel Herald -- Promoting the fundamentals of the 1888 message.

 

BIBLE STUDY FOUR

Preparation For Christís Coming:
A Day of Atonement Ministry

A. INTRODUCTION

Jones and Waggoner saw that genuine righteousness by faith since 1844 is an experience ministered from the Most Holy Apartment. It is not concerned primarily with preparing people to die, but preparing a corporate body of Godís people for translation at the coming of Christ. The great controversy between Christ and Satan cannot be concluded until such a demonstration develops. Thus it is evident that views of popular churches that do not follow Christ by faith in His Most Holy Apartment ministry cannot be "present truth" righteousness by faith. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a special, unique message of the everlasting gospel entrusted to us. The world must know about the cleansing of the sanctuary and how it relates to practical godliness. Here is a fundamental point of concern within the church.


B. THE BIBLE EVIDENCE

Hebrews 9:1-10 Confirms that Paul anticipated an antitypical Day of Atonement ministry at a later "time of di-orthosis" (setting right) "imposed" by the prophetic word. 1

Hebrews 10:19, 20 The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary guarantees this "consecrated way to Christian perfection" for all who do not resist the work of Christ. 2

Hebrews 12:29 Without it, no one can endure seeing the second coming of Christ.

Revelation 14:1-15 Perfection of Christian character through faith in Christís ministry in the Most Holy Apartment is a fundamental motif of the third angelís message. "The hour of Godís judgment" includes cleansing of the sanctuary.

Leviticus 16:29-31 On the typical day of atonement the high priest accomplished his typical work to "cleanse" the people "from all your sins before the Lord." On this antitypical Day of Atonement the High Priest will antitypically cleanse His people from all sin, which is transgressing of Godís holy Law (cf. Revelation 22:10-12). 3

Leviticus 4:5-7 Transference of the guilt of sin to the sanctuary typified how God must assume the responsibility for our sins; the great controversy between Christ and Satan involves the honor of Godís throne through the success of the plan of salvation. If it doesnít save people from sin, it doesnít work, and God is embarrassed if it appears to be a failure. 4

Ezekiel 36:21, 22 The sins of Godís professed people profane His name.

Romans 3:3, 4 The real issue in the judgment is the honor of His name and the success of His plan of salvation made evident to the universe.

Daniel 8:11-14 Since 1844 a work has been in progress to honor His name. 5

Ephesians 4:11-16; 5:25-27 A parallel metaphor is that of the Bride growing up, prepared for the wedding.

Revelation 19:6-8 The 1888 message was Christís appeal to the church as His Bride-to-be. For an inordinate period of time she "has [not] made herself ready." 6


C. SUMMARY

Scripture affirms an eschatological fulfillment of Godís call to character perfection through the unprecedented high priestly ministry of Christ in the Most Holy Apartment. This special Day of Atonement ministry is a unique understanding cherished (in part) by Seventh-day Adventists since the 1844 era. It prepares a people for translation, and guards them against the error of perfectionism.


D. CONCLUSION

This message linking the cleansing of the sanctuary to the perfection of Christian character is not based on egocentric fear or on a desire for reward, but on a concern for the divine Bridegroomís reward for His sacrifice. 7 This is a vitally essential truth, all but unknown in the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. It is commonly thought impossible for our people to grasp. Without this motivation clearly perceived, lukewarmness in spirituality becomes unavoidable and soon replaces the "first love" that new converts experience. Fear and hope of reward become ineffective motivations, which in these last days assume ever more sophisticated forms that deceive people into a false sense of security. Thus in the loud cry message the focus of the churchís attention will be shifted to Christ, and away from self and self-concern. Such a focus will startle many sincere Christians of other denominations who have been searching in vain for a practical understanding of the "constraint" that agape imposes. Many do sincerely love the Lord Jesus: bat the thought of His vindication as the conclusion of a great controversy between Christ and Satan has eluded them. They will welcome this revelation!

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Notes

  1. The Greek di-orthosis is an equivalent to one of the meanings of the Hebrew sadaq in Daniel 8:14 (Pastor John Peters, Pennsylvania Conference). How else can this passage make sense? [return to study]
  2. See Jonesí The Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, chapter 12 (an effective refutation of perfectionism). [return to study]
  3. Convoluted definitions of "sin" or "transgressing" are not necessary. The simple idea is that the High Priest will prepare a people to stand in the day of God, in other words, for translation. But first they must meet the test of the mark of the beast, which no previous generation of Godís people have ever been called upon to meet. Grace must be seen to abound "much more" than abounding sin in these last days. [return to study]
  4. Revelation 3:14-21 is closely intertwined with Revelation 14:1-15. [return to study]
  5. Ellen White discerned in the message of Jones and Waggoner Heavenís effort to conclude the investigative judgment with victory for Godís honor. See her articles week by week in the Review and Herald, January-March, 1890. [return to study]
  6. The appeal was "in a great degree" rejected in the 1888 era. "The disappointment of Christ is beyond description" (RH, Dec. 15, 1904). [return to study]
  7. Isaiah 53:10-12. [return to study]

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